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Predicting neurodevelopmental risk in children born to mothers living with HIV in Kenya: protocol for a prospective cohort study (Tabiri Study).

Oyungu E, El Kebbi O, Vreeman R, Nyandiko W, Monahan PO, Tu W, Khaitan A, Desta Z, Slogrove AL, Humphrey JM, Were E, Patel RC, Carlucci JG, Wools-Kaloustian K, McHenry MS. Predicting neurodevelopmental risk in children born to mothers living with HIV in Kenya: protocol for a prospective cohort study (Tabiri Study). BMJ open. 2022 Apr 4; 12(4):e061051.

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INTRODUCTION: For the growing number of children with in utero and postpartum exposure to HIV and/or antiretrovirals, it is unclear which exposures or risk factors play a significant role in predicting worse neurodevelopmental outcomes. This protocol describes a prospective longitudinal cohort study of infants born to mothers living with HIV and those born to mothers without HIV. We will determine which risk factors are most predictive of child neurodevelopment at 24 months. We aim to create a risk assessment tool to help predict which children are at risk for worse neurodevelopment outcomes. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study leverages an existing Kenyan cohort to prospectively enrol 500 children born to mothers living with HIV and 500 to those without HIV (n = 1000 total) and follow them from birth to age 24 months. The following factors will be measured every 6 months: infectious morbidity and biological/sociodemographic/psychosocial risk factors. We will compare these factors between the two groups. We will then measure and compare neurodevelopment within children in both groups at 24 months of age using the Child Behaviour Checklist and the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, third edition. Finally, we will use generalised linear mixed modelling to quantify associations with neurodevelopment and create a risk assessment tool for children = 24 months. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study is approved by the Moi University''s Institutional Research and Ethics Committee (IREC/2021/55; Approval #0003892), Kenya''s National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI, Reference #700244) and Indiana University''s Institutional Review Board (IRB Protocol #110990). This study carries minimal risk to the children and their mothers, and all mothers will provide written consent for participation in the study. Results will be disseminated to maternal child health clinics within Uasin Gishu County, Kenya and via papers submitted to peer-reviewed journals and presentation at international conferences.

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